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War of the Ring 2014 Tournament
Ira Fay (9) (ira212) vs Christian Carrasco Millán (8) (Barbarisco)
Semifinals, Game 2
It was Chris's turn to play Free, and I played Shadow.
Shadow starts with 0 + 1 eye, but only 1 muster with a lot of character dice. The free people get one of each result except army/muster. Elven Rope goes in first turn, the fellowship moves twice, but is hunted successfully and revealed (1r) in Hollin. A force from Mordor moves North and a lone orc in North Dunland harrasses the fellowship in Hollin. Elves muster once toward war. The round ends with the Fellowship at 0 movement, revealed, 1 corruption, with a full contingent.
Shadow commits only 1 eye to the hunt and rolls no additional eyes, and otherwise gets a roll with a mix of dice except palantirs. The fellowship hides, but immediately becomes Worn with Sorrow and Toil. The fellowship pressed on and unluckily gets revealed again (eye) into Moria (0r). Sauron goes to war, Saruman appears, and the Elves muster again toward war. Forces of orcs end the round outside Woodland Realm and Lorien. The Fellowship is hidden in Moria, full contingent, and 2 corruption.
Shadow commits the typical 1 eye to the hunt and rolls 1 more, along with a good roll heavy on army/muster. The free people get 2 character dice, a muster, and an army/muster. Though Wizard's Staff was in hand, the Fellowship decides to press on using every available character die to make progress toward Mordor. The first movement out of Moria is successful, and the second one is resolved with a timely sacrifice of Gandalf the Grey (3), keeping the fellowship hidden. Fly, you fools! Woodland Realm is besieged, Elves go to war, and Lorien gets an extra elite before it's besieged too. (Note: I probably should have besieged Lorien first so I was fighting two 1/2/1 armies, instead of 1/1/1 and 1/3/1. I'm not totally sure what's better.) Rage of the Dunlanding gathers a large force in Moria including a Worg Rider. The Witch King appears in Woodland Realm. The Fellowship is hidden two steps away from Moria, full contingent except Gandalf, and 2 corruption.
The fellowship declares itself to be in South Anduin Vale, and Shadow allocates 1 eye as usual, rolling one more with an otherwise balanced roll. The free people get a good roll with 2 WoW, 1 character, and 1 army/muster. The fellowship moves once successfully. The Woodland Realm falls in a single attack (2 VPs). The Dunlandings reinforce the battle at Lorien. Gandalf the White appears in Lorien. (Note: This was interesting, and made me quite happy to have the Worg Rider nearby.) Dale falls (3 VPs), with Scouts being cancelled by a Swarm of Bats, though Erebor had already gotten reinforcements from Iron Hills. Narya allows Strider to leave the fellowship, arrive in Minas Tirith, and be crowned King. The Black Captain Commands an attack on Lorien, starting to make a dent in the sizeable force, but limited by Gandalf's annoyingly bright staff. Dreadful Spells has little effect (1 hit). The Fellowship is hidden one step away from South Anduin Vale, full contingent except Gandalf and Strider, at 2 corruption.
The Fellowship revels in 6 action dice instead of the 4 from last turn, but manages to roll only a single WoW, with 3 palantirs, 1 Army/Musters, and 1 muster. Shadow allocates 1 eye and rolls no more, along with a balanced roll. Shadow is focused on destroying Lorien while Gandalf is holed up in it. A Power Too Great appears, and Shadow removes it. Palantir of Orthanc appears and the Free People remove it with Nenya. After four consecutive attacks and 6 rounds of battle (including Fighting Uruk-Hai), Lorien falls (5 VPs). (Note: I almost certainly made mistakes here, since I could have and should have been riskier and faster by using Fighting Uruk-Hai and/or Half-Orcs and Goblin-Min sooner. I was hoping the battle would go well without having to use them, and I could save them for later.) The Fellowship is hidden one step away from Western Brown Lands, full contingent except Gandalf and Strider, at 2 corruption.
Shadow rolls 1 eye and gets another, along with a muster-heavy roll. The fellowship is 3 spaces away from Moria and rolls 3 WoWs, 1 character, and 1 palantir. Though Shadow has Day without Dawn in hand, the Southrons and Easterlings are still one away from war, so Day without Dawn is saved for another day. The fellowship moves 3 times, is hunted successfully only once (1), and Pippin escapes as a random casualty to Helm's Deep. A New Power is rising and the ample Shadow musters are put to good use, along with getting the Southrons and Easterlings to war. Worn with Sorrow and Toil has some effect, but nothing too critical for the Free people. A large 3/5/9 force besieges Helm's Deep, leaving Orthanc undefended without fear of Ents, but the Free People manage to get Helm's Deep reinforced with the help of Eomer to 3/2/3 before the Shadow army arrives. (NOTE: Perhaps I made a mistake here in not using Day without Dawn, since then Free would have had to use a ring to reinforce Helm's Deep.)
The fellowship starts up the steps of Mount Doom with Boromir, Legolas, Gimli, and Merry (along with Sam and Frodo), hidden, with 2 corruption, 1 elven ring remaining, and a generally friendly hunt pool with 1 blue tile and 0 red tiles. Shadow allocates 1 eye and rolls 2 more, with an otherwise balanced roll. The fellowship gets 2 movement and the rest musters or army/musters. The fellowship manages to move 3 times in Mordor (3, 2, then eye for 5r). Worn with Sorrow and Toil is finally over as Gollum arrives as the guide, though not before removing visions of a Heroic Death. Helm's Deep eventually falls (7 VPs), and the Shadow army moves on to Westemnet to take Edoras, and either Erebor or Dol Amroth with the help of Corsairs. To potentially slow the fellowship, Shadow adds On, On They Went to the hunt pool. The Mouth of Sauron appears. The fellowship is at 5 corruption, revealed, on step 3 of Mordor, with Gollum as guide, no elven rings remaining.
Shadow allocates 1 eye and rolls 3 more, with only 3 attack dice showing, 1 palantir, and 2 musters. With the Mouth ability, a card, and an elven ring, Shadow might be able to make the remaining 3 VPs. The Fellowship rolls 1 character die, 2 WoWs, 1 muster, and 1 army/muster. Unfortunate for the Free People, Day Without Dawn appears now, preventing the ring from being destroyed this turn. Without much else to do, the lone regular from Pelargir makes it to Lamedon and eventually Dol Amroth before the Corsairs come. Shadows Lengthen into Dale and Umbar, crushing any hope of the Free People of recapturing Dale with a small Northern force. Corsairs of Umbar decend on Dol Amroth. Edoras falls (8 VPs). The Ringwraiths are Abroad, all appearing in Dol Amroth, and with the final action of the turn, Dol Amroth is captured with a Great Host (10 VPs).
Again I had good luck this game with early reveals. I made a few mistakes, but overall this was another game that luck played a major role. Thank you to Christian for the two games, and I wish him luck in the Bronze match!
I'll send the game logs (with passwords!) to Peter to post.